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Lake County Indiana - Filing Exemptions

Lake County Auditor’s Deductions Department

219-755-3120

Deductions and credits are available to reduce a taxpayer’s property tax liability.  Taxpayers owning property in Lake County, Indiana may claim these benefits by filing the appropriate application with the Lake county Auditor. An approved deduction will appear on the tax bill the year following the assessment date.  Application for deductions must be completed and dated  no later than December 31 annually and filed with the County Auditor on or before January 5th of the following year. Taxpayers do not need to reapply for deductions annually. Reapplication should only occur if the property is sold, the title/deed is changed or the home is refinanced.
For additional information on the below listed deductions, please consult IC 6-1.1.
 
HOMESTEAD: ($45,000 or 60% of the homestead eligible assessed value of the property)
 
If an individual owns a home in Lake County, Indiana and it is his/her primary place of residence, he/she is qualified to receive a homestead deduction.  A Homestead deduction cannot be applied to rental property or land. In addition, if the property is deeded under a trust or entity other than the individual filing the deduction, documents such as trust or corporation paperwork providing ownership MUST be provided.
 
The following is required in order to file the homestead deduction:
  1. Proof of residence of the applicant(s) and applicant’s spouse (even if not listed on deed) is required to file the homestead deduction. Proof of residency can be verified by providing any of the following documents that contain the applicant’s name and address of the residence for which the homestead deduction is being applied for:
    • An Indiana ID Card
    • An Indiana driver license or permit with photo
    • An Indiana gun permit
    • A bank statement issued within sixty (60) days of application
    • Form W-2 (Federal or State) or Form 1099
    • A state or federal tax return for either the current of previous year
    • A computer generated pay check stub
    • A valid employee ID card with photo
    • A valid Indiana professional license
    • A valid insurance card
    • A Medicare or Medicaid card
    • U.S. military discharge or DD214 separation papers
    • A voter registration card
    • A valid Indiana vehicle or watercraft title or registration
  2. The last 5 digits of the applicant(s) and applicant’s spouse’s driver’s license and /or social security number.  Spouse information is required even if they are not named on the deed.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to notify the county auditor if her or she is not eligible or becomes ineligible at any time for a filed homestead deduction.  Back taxes may be charged under [ IC 6-1.1-36-17 ] if an individual falsely received the homestead deduction.
 
MORTGAGE:   ($3,000 or balance of mortgage/contract indebtedness or half of total assessed value)
 
A mortgage deduction can be filed on property that has a recorded mortgage or home equity line of credit. 
 
The following is required in order to file a mortgage deduction:
  1. Applicant must be a resident of Indiana and the deeded owner of the property for which the mortgage deduction is being applied for. 
  2. Name of mortgagee or recorded contract seller.
  3. The amount of unpaid mortgage/contract indebtedness.
OVER 65:  ($12,480 or half of the assessed value of the property)
 
An Over 65 deduction can be filed on a property when the deeded owner turn 65 on or before December 31st of the assessment year in which the deduction is being applied for and if the combined adjusted gross income of an applicant(s) does not exceed $40,000 (or adjusted gross income does not exceed $30,000 if files single return) with an assessed value of $200,000 or less.
 
The following is required in order to file an over age 65 deduction:
  1. Proof of age with an Indiana ID card or driver’s license.
  2. Proof of residence. (See homestead requirements)
  3. An IRS Form 1040 or SS 1099 Form reflecting combined adjusted gross income of applicant(s).
Please note that if any of the joint tenants or tenants in common (other than spouse) listed on the deed are not at least 65, the deduction allowed will be reduced.
 
Beginning January 01, 2020 the adjusted gross income limitation for purpose of eligibility for the Over 65 Deduction will be increased for the 2020 pay 2021 taxes as follows: The assessed value cap has increased from $182,430 to & $200,000.  
 
If you are currently receiving a disability deduction, you are not able to get an over 65 deduction.
 
DISABILITY:  ($12,480)
 
To file the disability deduction the applicant’s disability must meet the same standards as set by the Social Security Administration as listed below:
  1. BlindApplicant is blind as defined in IC 12-7-2-21 (1); or
  2. DisabledApplicant is “disabled” if unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
In addition, the applicant’s yearly taxable income cannot exceed $17,000 and they must reside in the property they are filing the disability deduction on.
The following is required in order to file a Disability deduction:
  1. IRS Form 1040 or social Security 1099 Form.
  2. Proof of residence (See homestead requirements above)
  3. Proof of disability/blindness with a State Form 43710 or a written statement confirming disability from an Indiana licensed physician dated within the last 6 months.
If you are currently receiving an over 65 deduction, you will not be able to file for a disability deduction. 
If both owners qualify, then each disabled person can file this deduction.
 
DISABLED VETERAN(Up to $14,000 and/or $24,960)
Disabled Veteran Deduction: Eligible veterans may be able to deduct $24,960 from the assessed value of their property if:
  1. The individual served in the military or naval forces of the United States during any of its wars
  2. The individual received an honorable discharge
  3. The individual has a service connected disability of 10% or more
Effective July 1, 2019: For the January 1, 2020 assessment date, the assessed value cap has been increased from $175,000 to $200,00. Additionally, the Disabled Veteran Deduction amount has been increased from $12,480 to $14,000
 
Eligible veterans may also be able to deduct $14,000 from the assessed value of their property if:
  1. The individual served in the military or naval forces of the United States for at least 90 days
  2. The individual received an honorable discharge
  3. The individual either:
    • Has a total disability; or
    • Is at least 62 years old and has a disability of at least 10%
To receive the $14,000 deduction the assessed value of the property may not exceed $200,000
 
The modification to the Veteran’s Deduction was passed under SEA 280, and revisions to the deduction will apply to assessment dates after December 31, 2019 (20 pay 21).
 
SOLAR/WIND/GEOTHERMAL DEVICE:
 
REQUIREMENTS:
  1. Real property or mobile home is equipped with a solar energy system, wind power device, hydroelectric power device, geothermal energy heating, or cooling device
  2. Applicant must provide Sales Disclosure Form 46021 or State form 18865 (which can be obtained at the office of the Lake County Auditor or at www.in.gov)
  3. For Hydroelectric Power and Geothermal Devices, applicant must also provide IDEM certification. IDEM certification may be obtained by mailing a copy of the state form 18865 along with separate listing of your device's make, model number, serial number, system tonnage and designation as either an open or closed loop system to the following address:

    Indiana Department of Environmental Managements
    Office of Water Quality
    100 N. Senate Ave
    Room 1255
    Indianapolis, IN 46204

    http://www.in.gov/idem/
    (800) 451-6027

  4. IDEM will review your form and information. If it is determined that your device qualifies, IDEM will certify your claim and send a certification letter to you and your county Auditor. Please note that the unit only needs to be certified once. A list of all certified geothermal units is
    available through IDEM’s virtual file cabinet at http://www.in.gov/idem/legal/2363.htm.
  5. Applicant CANNOT file for the Over Age 65 deduction while these deductions are in place

Click HERE to file Homestead and Mortgage Deductions online.